Every engine on a Troy-Bilt lawn mower operates with an air filter. Made of a special type of a sponge-like foam, the air filter is crucial to keeping your Troy-Bilt engine running properly. Problems with the air filter will manifest as poor acceleration and hard starts, and they may cause the engine to die.
Lawn mowers operate in hot, dirty conditions, while the blades spin, they also kick up dust and other matter, making the air even dirtier. However, for the lawn mower engine to keep running properly, combustion needs to continue in the engine, so a constant supply of clean air is necessary to mix with the fuel. This dilutes the concentration of fuel and allows it to burn hotter and more efficiently inside the cylinder. The air filter, thus, takes out all particulate matter floating in the air around the mower's operating area, providing clean air for the fuel mix.
The air filter is a crucial element in the fuel system, so all Troy-Bilt mower air filters will be located just above the carburetor. The carburetor will always be close to the fuel tank, and on most, though not all, Troy-Bilt mowers, the fuel tank will sit near one of the external sides of the engine. Find the fuel tank and look closely around that area for a small box. Inside this box is the air filter, which will also be just above the carburetor.
Most Troy-Bilt mowers put the air filter in a box near the fuel tank. On top of this box sits a cover, which you can usually take off without tools, though a screwdriver may be necessary. Unhook or unscrew the top cover on the air filter box. Inside, you'll see a foam element: this is the air filter. Lift the air filter away from the air filter box to perform any cleaning. Underneath, you'll notice a plate, which leads directly to the carburetor.
Air filters get dirty quickly and, since they provide a crucial element to the fuel system, they need regular cleaning, usually after every 10 hours of operation. However, if the Troy-Bilt mower operates in especially dusty and dirty conditions it may need cleaning after every use. After removing the air filter, wash it in warm, soapy water using a mild detergent, like dish soap. Rinse the filter under cool water and set it out to dry overnight before putting it back inside the mower. Replace any filters that you can't clean thoroughly.